essays

Shrugging at collapse: the wisdom of “A Serious Man”

When I was first recommended the Coen brothers’ 2009 film “A Serious Man,” I had just been through a breakup with the woman I thought I would marry. I felt that my life was falling apart around me, and in my pain, I was longing for answers.  Michael Stuhlbarg as Larry Gopnik The film’s protagonist,… Continue reading Shrugging at collapse: the wisdom of “A Serious Man”

essays

What we owe one another: a spiritual perspective

This piece was written for and placed third in the Santa Fe Reporter's 2021 nonfiction contest, in response to the prompt "What do we owe one another?" The Reporter's publication of the piece can be found here. I believe that happiness—and not just happiness but profound, unabating bliss—is our birthright. Let me explain. When we… Continue reading What we owe one another: a spiritual perspective

essays

The great centering: my Saturn Return and the loss of grand narratives

On a crisp morning in February of this year, I received an email from the principal of a Catholic school in my area which read: “Dear Jackson, are you currently employed?” From both the tone and the brevity, I instantly knew that this was a job offer to fill an unanticipated absence. It was two… Continue reading The great centering: my Saturn Return and the loss of grand narratives

essays

The Lives of Others as the ultimate Enneagram five template

One of my all-time favorite films, 2006’s The Lives of Others, concerns life under the Stasi in east Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the film, a Stasi operative named Gerd Wiesler is tasked with surveilling a pair of lover-artists, writer Georg Dreyman and actress Christa-Maria Sieland, because the state suspects them… Continue reading The Lives of Others as the ultimate Enneagram five template

essays

Trapped at stage orange: spiral dynamics and the fate of Atlantis

Over this past week, I was tested four separate times for Covid. The first test, an at-home test, occurred because I was feeling ill and work at a school; the second test occurred because the first test's results would not return for nearly a week, and the school’s principal wanted me to resume teaching. Finally,… Continue reading Trapped at stage orange: spiral dynamics and the fate of Atlantis